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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

REDSHIFT: Last (2007)

Updated: Dec 5, 2021

Last is scathing and biting, more than Toll if it's possible

1 Tormentor 16:31

2 Nightshift 4:16

3 Last 10:56

4 Long Way Out 3:40

5 Damage 19:58

6 Torn 10:22

(DDL 65:43) (V.F.)

(England School, Berlin School)

In this artistic universe where technologies are constantly changing the essence of EM, there are elements that remain unchanged, like the mephistophelic sound of the mythical Redshift. Even with a modified structure, following the departure of James Goddard and the addition of Ian Boddy, Redshift remains a dark and gothic band that creates music scarred by a melancholic imprint. Recorded at the Hampshire Jam in October 2006, the new trio still explores the twists and turns of Mark Shreeve's heavy analog paths. Except that this time the structures filter more melodious inputs. A strange contrast of an obscure music.

From the cavernous intro of Tormentor, the ambience is filled with the heavy reverberations of the monster that is Mark Shreeve's huge Moog. The sonic stigmas escape there, purifying a heavy ambience with unpredictable jolts. A bit like in agony, Tormentor progresses by multiple tormented ascensions of composite pulsations which form bubbles with restricted explosions. The movement is slow and sinuous with a restrained violence that abounds in spiral melodies. Melodies that form and disappear like frightened snakes. Of spectral Redshift with spontaneous sonic outpourings, just like we've always loved. With its vaporous opening on synth layers of intriguing buzzes, Nightshift forms an ascending curve to the amazing Last whose intro is like a nursery rhyme from horror movies with its arpeggios multiplied in a minimalist structure provided with echo. The atmosphere is gloomy and drained of synths anxious to make a diabolic effect. The tension is superb and the sonic arc contracts with plasticity to offer a tenebrous melody that breathes with bewitching ease. The sequencer playing is superb and the Shreeve brothers extend a series of chords that dance with an elastic suppleness and of which the echo leads us to dreams. A nice and gentle moment with a dark beauty, due to the backwash effect of the Redshift waves.

Long Way Out wanders hesitantly to Damage, by far the most interesting track of this 9th Redshift. A nebulous intro with a sequenced progression that drops spectral laments winding into menacing striations. The sequences rebel to form a fusion of contracted and unruly rhythm. Suddenly, Mark Shreeve's heavy monster eats up this intro to redirect the pace towards growing nebulosities in a stagnant sea of composite sounds. The Redshift effect is total and impregnated with an eerie silence, with only a few elements floating in a poetic darkness. The buzzing sounds return to oversize this silent constellation. The rhythmic phases panic around more vicious sequences that twirl like a neurosis can feed the brain. The rhythmic passages of the English trio are impetuous. Even if one can predict their movements, they always surprise by the strength of the sound impact and their evolutions. Torn, which follows a frenetic ovation from the audience, offers the same sound concept. Except that the sequences are more agile, frivolous and bite the ear with a ferocity that one can never get enough of.

LAST is scathing and biting, more so than Toll if that's possible. The arrival of Ian Boddy seems to coincide with a more melodious opening of the sequences. A paradox that constantly floats in a complex and nuanced circle of doom. It only remains to hope that the title is not a precursor of the end of this superb band.

Sylvain Lupari (November 2nd, 2007) *****

Available at Redshift Bandcamp

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